21 February 2022
By Elaine Murphy
Applications are now open for the .IE Digital Towns Awards 2022, an initiative of .IE, the managers of Ireland’s .ie address.
- The .IE Digital Town Awards honour local town projects and people that are using digital to transform or enhance their communities for the betterment of local people, services, and society.
- Now in its second year, there is a total prize fund of €100,000 across 14 award categories including Digital Business, Community Digital, Digital Rising Star, Digital Changemaker, and Digital Local Hero.
- Oonagh McCutcheon, National Director of the .IE Digital Town Programme: “We are excited to see how towns and communities are using digital tools and innovative thinking with transformative results for citizens and local society. Last year’s winners set the bar exceptionally high, and we are looking forward to shining a light again on the towns, digital champions and smart ideas that are breathing new life into communities and their people.”
People and towns across Cork are being called on to enter the annual .IE Digital Town Awards 2022, an initiative of .IE, the managers of Ireland’s trusted online .ie address which celebrate the digital achievements of local towns and citizens across the country.
Now open for applications, the .IE Digital Town Awards has a total prize fund of €100,000 across 14 categories to honour local towns and people that, through digital projects and innovation, have contributed to enhancements in areas such as e-health, digital tourism, community, education, and digital business.
Welcoming the launch of this year’s awards, Oonagh McCutcheon, National Director, .IE Digital Town Programme said: “While the past two years have undoubtedly challenged us all, there are lots of great examples of how communities and community leaders have stepped up and adopted new ways of thinking and doing, with digital tools and innovation helping them to not only survive but thrive.
“Whether this is creating an online visitor experience to drive tourism in a town, or a digital voucher scheme to encourage local commerce, there are many inspiring examples of everyday champions and digital leaders in our communities that are transforming local life and society in innovative and creative ways.
“The ambition of our awards is to recognise these people and projects that have created opportunities against the odds, as well as inspiring and motivating others to see how digital tools and technologies might benefit their towns and communities too.
“As we begin to emerge from the pandemic, we are excited to see how towns and communities have continued to embrace digital tools and are applying innovative digital-first thinking with transformative results for citizens, business, and local society. Last year’s winners set the bar exceptionally high, and we are looking forward to once more shining a light on the towns, digital champions and smart ideas that are breathing new life into communities and their people.
“We are delighted to welcome our category sponsors Western Development Commission, Connected Hubs, Vodafone and AIB Merchant Services”
Last year Cork did extremely well in the awards, with not one but two winners. In Skibbereen, ‘The Ludgate Hub’ won the Digital Changemaker award and Fermoy’s ‘Connection to the Community’ project finished runner up in the Large Town category. Skibbereen’s ‘The Ludgate Hub’ was recognised for being the first to create a digital working hub in Ireland and as the first rural town with 1GB digital connectivity. Fermoy’s ‘Connection to the community’ project was runner up for its role in enriching the town using digital technology like the Fermoy app. The awards organisers are excited to see what digital projects the people of Cork will enter this year after such an outstanding contribution to the awards last year.
Categories and Awards
Ten of the awards will be digital projects in the areas of education, tourism, health, business, and community, with a further four special awards recognising a Digital Changemaker, Digital Rising Star, Digital Local Hero, and an Overall Winner, which will be decided on by an independent judging panel.
The judging panel for this year’s special awards categories will be looking for digital leaders who show a genuine passion and ambition for their town or community, are self-motivated, and who apply digital thinking to problem solve with creative solutions and innovative ideas that ‘disrupt’ and enhance towns and communities for everyone’s benefit.
Finally, the Digital Local Hero award will recognise the unsung heroes nominated by their peers for their tireless work on community-focused and digitally led initiatives that make a town or a group in the town better.
Applications are open now and will close at 17.00 on Friday, 25 March 2022.
The winners and runners up will be announced at a gala awards ceremony on 8 June 2022.
The .IE Digital Town Awards is part of a €1 million investment announced by .IE in 2021 and to be delivered over four years, with a particular focus on digital enhancement and adoption in Ireland’s towns as part of its overall .IE Digital Town programme.